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Xu Xiaobing
Xu Xiaobing
Xu Xiaobing is director of the Centre of International Law Practice at Shanghai Jiao Tong University Law School.

All sides appear to be preparing for what could be an inevitable military solution as defence budgets balloon and the US continues to arm Taiwan. Sabre-rattling is par for the course over the fraught Taiwan issue. Is this time different?

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In a statement, the US and its allies committed to the rules-based international order, while suggesting the one-China principle need not always apply. From the G7 foreign ministers’ statement on Taiwan, it is clear that this order is based on a selective and convenient application of rules.

Any hope of pursuing a ‘new model of major power relations’ is gone as the US embraces competition, confrontation and cooperation. The world must brace for the worst.

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As Joe Biden’s administration takes its cue from Donald Trump’s anti-China policy, the walls being erected range from investment controls to boycott calls. The G7’s infrastructure plan, in response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, is just the latest sign of increasing rivalry.

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Both US and Chinese officials talked tough in Alaska, for the benefit of their home audiences. But Beijing went on to show it is in a position of strength, by imposing sanctions on Washington’s allies right after the Alaska meeting.

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Instead of the pandemic being ‘China’s Chernobyl’, Beijing has confronted the problem head-on. While China has been at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19 and sought to boost the global economy, the US has merely led its allies to contain China.

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In the past, the US made great contributions to the world. Today, Trump seeks to ‘make America great again’ by destroying law and order at the international community’s expense. Sadly, American interests are likely to continue to win out.

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